Dehradun: Independent candidates have played an important role in the political turf in Uttarakhand. Their role became crucial after the creation of the new state which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in November 2000.

Prior to the formation of the new state, a total of 22 assembly seats came under the Uttarakhand region. In 1996 elections for UP assembly, independent candidates received 6.52 percent of the total vote share. Independent candidates registered their strong presence after the new state came into existence.

In the first two assembly elections in the state in 2002 and 2007, the independent candidates gave a tough fight to their rivals from major national and regional parties. Two independent candidates were elected to state assembly in 2002 polls whereas 16 Independent candidates trailed behind their rivals by a very thin margin.

Again in 2007 elections, the similar situation was witnessed in six constituencies.

In 2002 assembly elections, independent candidates got around 10 percent less vote share than that of Congress candidates.

However, the Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) in 2002 stood at second position with 25.81 percent vote share while the independent candidates finished at the third place. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got 11.20 percent of votes and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) was confined to 6.36 percent.

Similar picture emerged in 2007 assembly elections. Three independent candidates entered state assembly.  The UKD and other regional and state parties did not show much improvement. However, national level parties like the BJP and the Congress polled 31.50 percent and 29.50 percent of votes respectively and the independent candidates in totality stood at third place. Considering these figures, it could be deduced that independents in the state have always posed trouble for the stakeholders in the state politics.

In the forthcoming elections many independent candidates, some of them are rebel of other parties, have sounded the election bugle and they are likely to disturb the poll calculations of the national parties.

JNN